Best DIY Solar Generator in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

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If you’re looking for the best best DIY solar generator, this is your definitive guide! See our list of the 5 best and click through to find out more.

Solar generators take sunlight and convert that energy into electrical energy which can be used to power homes, appliances, or power devices such as phones and laptops. 

The downside of using solar is if the climate is cloudy, rainy, or doesn’t receive many daylight hours as the generator won’t be able to charge properly and therefore be rendered useless. However, when there is enough sunlight to charge the solar generator, it is an incredibly effective and energy-efficient method to use. 

While many solar generators are on the market, they can be expensive in comparison to making your own. It is rather easy to do it yourself (DIY) by, for example, simply hooking up the solar panel to the generator. 

This article covers the best DIY solar generators by showcasing, reviewing, and comparing the best solar panels on the market which can be used as a DIY solar generator. 

Most of these products are IP65 or IPX4 certified which means they are not only water-resistant but can withstand water splashing from any angle/direction making them great for the outdoors.

COMPARISON CHART

ITEHIL Solar Panel, 100W 18 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kits, Portable High Efficiency Solar Panel Charger, Foldable Solar Power Backup with USB 3.0/USB 2.0/DC Output for Home, Camping, RV

ITEHIL Solar Panel
  • Peak Power: 100 watts
  • Power Voltage: 18 volts
  • Power Current: N/A
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Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel for Explorer 160/240/500 as Portable Solar Generator, Portable Foldable Solar Charger for Summer Camping Van RV(Can't Charge Explorer 440/ PowerPro)

Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel
  • Peak Power: 68 watts
  • Power Voltage: 22-volts
  • Power Current: 60 watts
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WEIZE 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit, High Efficiency Monocrystalline PV Module for Boat, Caravan, RV and Other Off Grid Applications

WEIZE 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel
  • Peak Power: 100 watts
  • Power Voltage: 12-volts
  • Power Current: 200 watts
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DOKIO 160W 18V Portable Solar Panel Kit (22x21 inch) Folding Solar Charger Monocrystalline Include 2 USB Outputs Controller for 12v Batteries/Power Station Delta AGM LiFePo4 Camping RV Boat

DOKIO 160 Watt 18 Volts Portable Solar Panel
  • Peak Power: N/A
  • Power Voltage: 18-volts
  • Power Current: 160 watts
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ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel 100W (Dual 5v USB with 18v DC Output) Monocrystalline Solar Charger Foldable Solar Panel for Laptop, Portable Generator, 12v Car, Boat, RV Battery

ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel 100W
  • Peak Power: N/A
  • Power Voltage: 18-volts
  • Power Current: 100 watts
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ITEHIL Solar Panel, 100W 18 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kits, Portable High Efficiency Solar Panel Charger, Foldable Solar Power Backup with USB 3.0/USB 2.0/DC Output for Home, Camping, RV

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ITEHIL Solar Panel, 100W 18 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kits, Portable High Efficiency Solar Panel Charger, Foldable Solar Power Backup with USB 3.0/USB 2.0/DC Output for Home, Camping, RV

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ITEHIL Solar Panel, 100W 18 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kits, Portable High Efficiency Solar Panel Charger, Foldable Solar Power Backup with USB 3.0/USB 2.0/DC Output for Home, Camping, RV

Specification

Peak Power:100 watts
Power Voltage:18 volts
Power Current:N/A
Open Circuit Voltage:N/A
Short Circuit Current:N/A
Operating Temperature Range:4º-140º F
USB – A Output:No
USB – C Output:No
Cell Efficiency:21.5%

When it comes to the best DIY solar generators, the ITEHIL solar panel is a fantastic option to go with due to its physical design, high durability, and charging ability options.

WHAT WE LIKE

This panel is great because it not only folds but has a kickstand which makes it easy to go and prop up anywhere. Built with Grade A monocrystalline silicon, these durable panels are rated IPX4 in water resistance and have waterproof fabric and zippers to keep the panels and components extra safe in wet weather. With many charging ports, it’s easy to charge most devices, as well

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

Unfortunately, like with other panels on the list, the 100 watts that are promised and advertised don’t always happen. Instead, the panels put out 75 watts so while effective and energy-saving nonetheless, they are still not giving out the power advertised.

PROS

  • Foldable with a kickstand
  • Water-resistant
  • Can charge a variety of items

CONS

  • Does not give off the 100-watt power as advertised (rarely)
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Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel for Explorer 160/240/500 as Portable Solar Generator, Portable Foldable Solar Charger for Summer Camping Van RV(Can't Charge Explorer 440/ PowerPro)

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Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel for Explorer 160/240/500 as Portable Solar Generator, Portable Foldable Solar Charger for Summer Camping Van RV(Can't Charge Explorer 440/ PowerPro)

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Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel for Explorer 160/240/500 as Portable Solar Generator, Portable Foldable Solar Charger for Summer Camping Van RV(Can't Charge Explorer 440/ PowerPro)

Specification

Peak Power:68 watts
Power Voltage:22-volts
Power Current:60 watts
Open Circuit Voltage:26.4 volts
Short Circuit Current:3.36 A
Operating Temperature Range:-10° – 65°C
USB – A Output:Yes
USB – C Output:Yes
Cell Efficiency:23%

It’s never fun to run out of power and the downside of solar power is that it takes time and, of course, sun to charge. Luckily, this quick-charging solar panel is portable, has multiple certifications and protections, and is incredibly durable.

WHAT WE LIKE

If there is 5.5 hours of sun, this Jackery solar panel charges up to 80% full which is quicker than most of the competition. Also unlike the competition, this solar panel has a kickstand which makes it easy to take places and charge using USB-A or USB-C ports. The SolarSaga is FCC and ROHS certified and has protection for short-currents, surges, and over-powering.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

While these solar panels are great in many ways unlike the competition, the downfall is that they don’t store power- they only convert it. This means that in order to charge a device, the panels need to be set up in the sun and if the weather changes, the power conversion and charging stop.

PROS

  • Portable and foldable
  • Fast charging
  • Has a kickstand
  • Has USB-A and USB-C ports
  • Certified and protected
  • Water-resistant

CONS

  • Does not store power
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WEIZE 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit, High Efficiency Monocrystalline PV Module for Boat, Caravan, RV and Other Off Grid Applications

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WEIZE 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit, High Efficiency Monocrystalline PV Module for Boat, Caravan, RV and Other Off Grid Applications

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WEIZE 200 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel Starter Kit, High Efficiency Monocrystalline PV Module for Boat, Caravan, RV and Other Off Grid Applications

Specification

Peak Power:100 watts
Power Voltage:12-volts
Power Current:200 watts
Open Circuit Voltage:22.64 volts
Short Circuit Current:5.7 A
Operating Temperature Range:N/A
USB – A Output:No
USB – C Output:No
Cell Efficiency:21%

For a product in which the company responds to inquiries/complaints, the product is installation-ready, durable, and versatile, this is a great choice to help build the best DIY solar generator you have had yet.

WHAT WE LIKE

These panels arrive at the doorstep ready to be installed and are equipped with all of the necessary accessories to mount the panels. They are also highly efficient and essentially maintenance-free. Being durable and versatile is obvious with the anodized aluminum frames, tempered glass, and sealed junction box making the solar panel corrosion-resistant and weatherproof which makes it great for outdoor use.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

The packaging is not done as well as one might hope and therefore there are sometimes shipping damages to the product. However, that’s not often. The controller display can be defective occasionally in which while the panels and wiring seem to be of good quality, the reading the machine gives out is inaccurate which can be incredibly dangerous.

PROS

  • Company is responsive
  • Installation-ready
  • Durable and versatile

CONS

  • Controller display can be defective
  • Shipping damages
  • Not IP65 waterproof
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DOKIO 160W 18V Portable Solar Panel Kit (22x21 inch) Folding Solar Charger Monocrystalline Include 2 USB Outputs Controller for 12v Batteries/Power Station Delta AGM LiFePo4 Camping RV Boat

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DOKIO 160W 18V Portable Solar Panel Kit (22x21 inch) Folding Solar Charger Monocrystalline Include 2 USB Outputs Controller for 12v Batteries/Power Station Delta AGM LiFePo4 Camping RV Boat

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DOKIO 160W 18V Portable Solar Panel Kit (22x21 inch) Folding Solar Charger Monocrystalline Include 2 USB Outputs Controller for 12v Batteries/Power Station Delta AGM LiFePo4 Camping RV Boat

Specification

Peak Power:N/A
Power Voltage:18-volts
Power Current:160 watts
Open Circuit Voltage:N/A
Short Circuit Current:N/A
Operating Temperature Range:N/A
USB – A Output:No
USB – C Output:No
Cell Efficiency:23%

For a solar panel with a myriad of safety certifications and protections as well as its blanket diversity with the ability to fit most batteries, this is a great choice to make for a DIY solar generator.

WHAT WE LIKE

This solar panel has CE certification and ISO certification which means it can be sold in the European Union and has approval from the International Organization for Standardization. It also offers high protection against overcurrent, overcharging, overload, and short-circuiting. It’s built for most types of 12-volt batteries and most types of built-in controller power stations that are on the market.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

Although the foldable design is great for storage and easy travel, there is no kickstand or product that comes with the solar panels to keep it propped up. Sometimes the watts and power put out varies (which could depend on the sun and weather to be fair). For example, instead of giving out the full 160 watts, it only puts out 90 watts instead. Although the company claims the panels are waterproof, they are not classified as IP65.

PROS

  • Many certifications
  • Safety protection
  • Fits most 12-volt and built-in controller power stations on the market
  • Foldable

CONS

  • No stand to set up
  • Watts vary
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ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel 100W (Dual 5v USB with 18v DC Output) Monocrystalline Solar Charger Foldable Solar Panel for Laptop, Portable Generator, 12v Car, Boat, RV Battery

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ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel 100W (Dual 5v USB with 18v DC Output) Monocrystalline Solar Charger Foldable Solar Panel for Laptop, Portable Generator, 12v Car, Boat, RV Battery

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ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Panel 100W (Dual 5v USB with 18v DC Output) Monocrystalline Solar Charger Foldable Solar Panel for Laptop, Portable Generator, 12v Car, Boat, RV Battery

Specification

Peak Power:N/A
Power Voltage:18-volts
Power Current:100 watts
Open Circuit Voltage:N/A
Short Circuit Current:N/A
Operating Temperature Range:N/A
USB – A Output:No
USB – C Output:No
Cell Efficiency:23.5%

For a solar power generator that charges electronics, is portable and lightweight at 4.73 pounds, and is durable which makes it not only a great DIY solar generator, but a great solar power supply to take camping or have outdoors. 

WHAT WE LIKE

This solar generator has three ports: two USB ports for charging devices such as smartphones and one DC output which can be used for a portable generator, 12-volt car battery, or a laptop. It is IP65 water-resistant which means it can withstand light water from any side and is also high temperature resistant.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

While the product itself is great, there is a miscommunication with some orders and the manufacturer. For example, if a 100-watt product is ordered, sometimes a 70-watt product shows up with a tag for being 100-watts. However, the manufacturer will exchange for the correct product if notified.

PROS

  • Three ports
  • IP65 water-resistant
  • High-temperature resistant

CONS

  • Item-tag incongruence

Final Verdict

In the end, the final recommendation for the best DIY solar generator is the ITEHIL Solar Panel. This is because of the panel’s design, durability, and charging variety. This panel is designed, like many others, to fold up and be easily portable. 

However, unlike some other panels on the market and in this list, this panel has a kickstand that comes with it which makes it even easier and more portable to take anywhere and everywhere. 

The panel also is incredibly durable with a working temperature between -4℉ to +140℉ so it can be in cold or heated climates as long as there is sun. It is also built with Grade A monocrystalline silicon and is rated as IPX4 water-resistant which means it can withstand (light) water from all sides. Along with its waterproof zipper and fabric, it is a perfect product for camping and outside solar power generation. When it comes to charging, the USB 3.0 output, USB 2.0 output, 18V DC port, DC 5521 to DC 5521.

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